In Survey, Mayors Say They Fear for Black Citizens–and Police

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A year after America’s mayors declared their concern that “Ferguson could happen to us,” a more multifaceted anxiety over the relationship between police and minority communities has taken hold in the country’s city halls, a new Politico Magazine survey finds. During one of the most tumultuous summers in urban politics, ignited by the murder of eight police officers after more controversial police shootings of black men, more than half of mayors surveyed say they are very worried about the safety of their black citizens, but nearly three-quarters of mayors say they now fear for their officers’ lives as well.

The questions come on the one-year anniversary of Politico’s first race and policing survey, which found deep anxieties that the unrest in Ferguson could spread to their city. Perhaps as a result of new race-focused initiatives and training, nearly 90 percent of mayors say their police have good or excellent relations with communities of color, and, in an interesting change from 2015, no mayors rated their department’s relationship with those communities as poor. The findings are part of Politico’s sixth quarterly national Mayors’ Survey, conducted in July among 71 mayors across the country.

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